New arrivals to Oregon sometimes have a hard time figuring out how state government works.
For instance, the state has a $26 billion unfunded liability for its future pension costs. That means schools and other government entities can’t do as much teaching, road paving and law enforcing as they would otherwise. Why not? Because year after year, they almost inevitably have to pay more and more into the state’s Public Employees Retirement System to deal with runaway costs.